NSF Protocol Evaluates the Safety and Quality of Home Kitchen Utensils

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — NSF International, an independent global organization that writes standards, and tests and certifies products for the consumer goods, food and water industries, has certified 12 kitchen utensils made by ARG Manufacturing, Inc. to a new protocol NSF developed to evaluate the safety and quality of home utensils.  These 12 ARG utensils are the first products in this category to earn certification to the protocol, which was developed as part of the new NSF Home Product Certification (HPC) Program:

  • Slotted (serving) spoon
  • Solid spoon
  • Slotted turner
  • Solid turner
  • Square spatula
  • Round spatula
  • Can opener
  • Pizza cutter
  • Ladle
  • Potato masher
  • Square basting brush
  • Swivel peeler

The NSF Home Product Certification Program is based on, but separate from, the NSF commercial foodservice equipment certification program. Many state, county and city food codes in the U.S. mandate that commercial establishments use foodservice equipment that is certified to NSF commercial food equipment standards. The NSF Home Product Certification Program builds on this commercial expertise by now helping to ensure the safety and quality of consumer products and appliances used in the home.

NSF HPC MarkThrough this program, products are thoroughly tested against a rigorous set of protocols at NSF’s laboratories. The protocols are specific to home use and incorporate all applicable product quality, performance and food contact material regulations.  This enables manufacturers to streamline multiple client product specifications into one set of testing requirements, helping assure product safety, while also increasing a product’s speed to market and reducing overall costs. Production facilities also undergo a thorough audit to verify that systems are in place to help assure finished products meet NSF protocol requirements.

NSF public health experts worked with retailers, manufacturers and regulatory experts to develop NSF Protocol P400: Food Contact Utensils for Home Use. This protocol covers glass, metal, natural fiber, plastic, silicone and wood (chemically treated or preserved wood can’t be used in food zones) materials used in utensils such as cutting boards, graters, ladles, measuring cups, spatulas, whisks, can openers, melon scoopers, bagel cutters, garlic presses and similar home kitchen items. The protocol includes a rigorous set of testing requirements which evaluate:

  • Performance (e.g. corrosion resistance, durability)
  • Material safety (e.g. does not leach harmful contaminants such as heavy metals and phthalates into food)
  • Packaging and labeling (e.g. distributor/manufacturing location, description, quantity, usage directions, warning labels, disclaimer statements, lot number/expiration date and label claims are accurate and follow regulations)
  • Conformance to applicable U.S., Canadian and EU product regulations

NSF International tested and certified ARG Manufacturing’s utensils against protocol P400, and will audit the facility in which the product was made. For earning certification, ARG’s certified utensils will bear the NSF “Certified for Home Use” mark.

"At ARG, we pride ourselves on being a leading manufacturer of consumer products and we understand that safety and quality are paramount to earning and maintaining consumer confidence. The NSF Certified for Home Use mark on our utensils is a symbol of our commitment to safety and quality and a signal to buyers that our products have been tested to a rigorous set of quality, performance and material safety requirements by the world’s leading health and safety organization," said Joe Van Houten, President and Chief Executive Officer of ARG Manufacturing.

“Product safety is essential to manufacturers, retailers and consumers. In fact, nearly 40 percent of consumers recently surveyed by NSF expressed concerns about the safety of their home kitchen appliances and cookware, and almost 75 percent said they preferred products with independent certification over those without,” said Sarah Krol, General Manager of Consumer Products, NSF International. “The NSF Home Product Certification program meets the needs of all through one streamlined testing and certification program. Manufacturers can verify product quality and demonstrate regulatory and retailer compliance, while consumers gain a testing and certification program for their home kitchen products and appliances they can trust.”

The new NSF Home Product Certification Program is part of NSF’s Consumer Products Division, which also offers private label assurance and specification development. The NSF Private Label Assurance Program verifies that private label products meet retailers’ quality standards, are comparable to national brands and comply with consumer product regulations.

To inquire about becoming certified under the NSF Home Product Certification Program contact NSF’s Business Development team at homeproducts@nsf.org, 877-520-5224 or visit nsfhomeproducts.org.

Editor’s Note: To schedule an interview with NSF Consumer Products division General Manager Sarah Krol, contact Greta Houlahan at houlahan@nsf.org or 734-913-5723.

About NSF International: NSF International is a global independent organization that writes standards and protocols, and tests and certifies products for the food, water and consumer goods industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment (nsf.org). Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide. NSF is a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Food and Water Safety and Indoor Environment.

NSF International developed the first standards for foodservice equipment in 1944, beginning with sanitation standards for soda fountain and luncheonette equipment. Since then, NSF has developed more than 80 consensus American National Standards for a wide range of consumer and commercial products. Today, commercial food equipment certified to NSF national standards is mandated in many state, county and city food codes throughout the US. NSF also developed the American National Standards for materials and products that treat or contact public water supplies at the request of U.S. EPA. In 1990, the U.S. EPA phased out its drinking water product advisory program and redirected states to rely on accredited certifications to these NSF standards. Today, most plumbing codes require that pipes and plumbing components in commercial and residential buildings be certified to NSF standards.

The NSF Consumer Products Division builds on NSF’s expertise in developing protocols and national standards, testing and certification to help ensure the safety and quality of consumer products and appliances used in and around the home. These include bottled water and beverages, nutritional/dietary supplements, private label goods, personal care products, home appliances, cookware, bakeware and small kitchen electrics. Additional NSF services include environmental/sustainable product claims verification, safety audits for the food and water industries, and management systems registrations delivered through NSF International Strategic Registrations (NSF-ISR).

About ARG Manufacturing: ARG Manufacturing is an international “factory direct” solution for Kitchen Tools & Gadgets, Silicone Products, Food Preparation Items and other Non-Electric items for the home. In-house design and engineering teams allow ARG to streamline product development and provide a supply chain model with improved efficiencies in Asia and North America. ARG’s mission is to be the Creative, Manufacturing and Supply Chain resource for all channels of retail distribution through Private Label Manufacturing and utilizing ARG & Licensed Brands under our management. Innovative products can be found among hundreds of quality products under the brands Chef Select, Ergo, Top Chef and Bella. For more information on ARG Manufacturing and NSF rated Kitchen Tools and Gadgets call 215-345-6295 ext. 101.

CONTACT: Greta Houlahan
NSF International
Phone: 734-913-5723
Email: houlahan@nsf.org

Safe Harbor Statement: This release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and such forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. "Forward-looking statements" describe future expectations, plans, results, or strategies and are generally preceded by words such as "may", "future", "plan" or "planned", "will" or "should", "expected", "anticipates", "draft", "eventually", or "projected". You are cautioned that such statements are subject to a multitude of risks and uncertainties that could cause future circumstances, events, or results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements, including the risks that actual results may differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, and other risks identified in the company's SEC filings.